National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

2001 Mid-Year Estimates

2001 Mid-Year Estimates

GROS Title

After each census the Registrar General prepares a new set of 'base' mid-year population estimates. These estimates are derived from the census counts of residents, but adjustments have to be made to allow for population change between Census Day and 30 June.

The latest mid-year estimates (Table 3) refer to 30 June 2001 whereas the census results refer to population counts on Census Day, 29 April 2001. It was, therefore, necessary to recalculate ages with reference to 30 June, and to make allowances for births, deaths, and migration occurring in the intervening nine weeks (go to Table 4). These changes added 2,200 to the population of Scotland, which is attributable to a net in-flow of 2,500 migrants in the nine-week period, partially offset by a natural decrease of 300 (births minus deaths) in the period.

Commentary on the 2001 Mid-Year Estimates

The estimated population of Scotland on 30 June 2001 was 5,064,200. This is some 50,400 less than the 2000 mid-year estimates published in April 2001. The fall from the 2000 figure does not represent change in a single year since the previous 2000 estimate was derived by 'rolling forward' the 1991 population taking account of births, deaths and migration. Given the new baseline established by the 2001 Census, it will be necessary to revise previous population estimates. In order to provide an indicator of recent change in the population, which may be particularly useful if calculating rates per head, a set of provisionally revised 2000 mid-year estimates has been produced and these are shown in the components of change table in Table 5. Further information on this provisionally revised set of estimates and how they were calculated is given in Appendix 2.

Population change on this basis between 2000 and 2001 is summarised for council areas in Table 5. This shows an increase of 6,000 in the population between 2000 and 2001, which arises principally because of asylum seekers included in the migration estimates for 2000-01 for Glasgow City. Table 6 gives population details by sex and five-year age group for council areas of Scotland on 30 June 2001 and Table 7 gives information on land areas and population densities. The latter shows that population density ranges from 8 persons per square kilometre in Highland to 3,298 persons per square kilometre in Glasgow City.

Comparisons with 1981

A revised series of population estimates for Scotland covering the period 1982-2000 will be produced (go to Appendix 3). Estimates for 1981 will not be affected, and this section identifies some of the key changes in Scotland's population between 1981 and 2001. Further commentary on Scotland's changing population will be included in the Registrar General's Annual Report for 2001 (to be published on 30 October 2002).

The population of Scotland has fallen by about two per cent over the past 20 years, a decrease of some 116,000 since 1981. Figure 1 below illustrates how the age structure of the population of Scotland has changed in that time. Of particular note are the decrease of 18 per cent in the number of children under 15 and the increase of 29 per cent in the numbers aged 75 and over. Table 3 gives more detail of the population of Scotland by age and sex on 30 June 2001.

Figure 1 The changing age structure of Scotland's population; 1981-2001

Figure 2 gives the age structure of the population for both males and females. This shows clearly the ageing of the population and the transfer into their 30s of the 1960s baby bulge. The 2001 data shows the effect of improvements in mortality at older ages, increasing the number of the most elderly, while the further reduction in the number of births in recent years is also evident.

Figure 2(a) Estimated population by age and sex 30 June 2001

Figure 2(b) Estimated population by age and sex 30 June 1981